It’s a repeat of the 2020 Junior Championship final tomorrow as Forkhill take on Belleek in the Athletic Grounds.
Forkhill needed a replay and extra time to eventually shake off Garreth Thornton’s men and land the Sean Quinn Cup.
12 months later it was Belleek who finally got over the line in the JFC. Now one of them will progress to the last eight of the Intermediate Championship.
Gaps to fill
Forkhill will be minus two big parts of that 2020 success. Paddy Burns, who man-marked Callum O’Neill, has since moved to Burren.
Jemar Hall hit 0-11 across both games, but is currently suspended for picking up a red card in last year’s championship.
With those two out of the fold, it’s Belleek who hold all the aces and are favourites to get their name into the quarter final draw.
O’Neill will have a huge part to play. He has interchanged between full forward and midfield this year and could line out anywhere.
If Drew McVerry is fully fit, he’s likely to start in a two-man full forward line along with Sean McCreesh.
Professional boxer Fearghus Quinn is also likely to be available from, having started Belleek’s last two league games.
Forkhill will mostly look to their county man Stephen Sheridan and Cormac Toner for inspiration.
Toner earned the man of the match award in 2020, scoring 2-1 in the final to get his side over the line.
In the absence of Hall, a lot of the scoring burden is going to fall on the shoulders of Toner, who’ll be picked up by Sean Finnegan.
2020 Junior Player of the Year Tony Canning is another quality operator and he’s sure to renew acquaintances with McVerry.
The sides met twice in the league, with Belleek winning one and the other finishing all square. This could go right down to the wire, but Belleek are expected to prevail.